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This week is a slight digression. We’ve been exploring the use case for disaster recovery (DR) to the cloud, as part of the business case for hybrid cloud. We’ve found there is a dubious case for using the cloud for disaster recovery. If you can DR a workload to the cloud, you have effectively migrated it to the cloud. With sufficient bandwidth in place you will be ready for multi-cloud operations with private cloud on-premises and public cloud.
In migrating a workload to the cloud you will of course architect it for high availability (HA) with fail-over to other zones or even regions. This is DR by design. You should also design it for portability using containers and Kubernetes clusters.
Backup & restore is an integral part of DR, but having backup policies in place is not in itself DR, which must be part of a larger business continuity plan.
However, you might have a business case for storing backups in the cloud based on low storage costs. But don’t overlook costs for bandwidth and data transfer. Backups should be immutable, i.e., WORM (write once read many times) images.
Backups can be kept in direct storage for quick access or in lower-cost archival storage if you can accept a retrieval delay. Some cloud service providers can also seamlessly extend your tape library for cloud storage, using your on-premises software. This could replace your existing off-site transportation and storage using automation.
We could call this hybrid cloud.